COP28 Delegates Launch Long-Awaited Climate Fund for Loss and Damage

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Delegates at COP28 have made a surprising decision to launch a long-awaited fund to address damage from climate-driven events such as storms and droughts. Conventionally, such decisions are made in the final moments of negotiations, but COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber brought the decision to the floor on the first day. The agreement is expected to provide financial support for countries facing the impacts of climate change. The EU, UK, US, and others promptly announced contributions totaling around $400 million. This move is seen as a potential catalyst for a broader and more ambitious agreement during the summit.

Key Points:

  • Unexpected Fund Launch: Delegates at COP28 have agreed to launch a fund to address climate-related loss and damage, breaking the convention of delaying such decisions until the final days of negotiations. The fund aims to provide financial assistance to countries dealing with the aftermath of climate-driven events.
  • Contributions from Nations: The EU, UK, US, and other countries swiftly pledged contributions to the fund, totaling approximately $400 million. The financial support is intended for vulnerable nations grappling with the consequences of climate change.
  • Strategic Move by UAE: The decision to introduce the ‘loss and damage’ cash agreement on the first day of the conference is seen as a strategic move by the UAE, the host country. This move has been applauded for addressing a contentious issue early in the summit.
  • Historic Agreement: The establishment of the ‘loss and damage’ fund is considered historic, marking a significant step in addressing the impacts of climate change. The fund will specifically focus on providing financial aid for losses incurred due to climate-related weather events.
  • COP28 President’s Role: COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber played a crucial role in advancing the loss and damage fund’s establishment on the first day of the conference. This early decision is expected to set a positive tone for the summit.
  • António Guterres’ Warning: UN Chief António Guterres issued a stark warning at the beginning of COP28, stating that the world is “living through climate collapse in real time.” He emphasized the urgency of addressing climate change and its impacts.
  • Hope for Ambitious Agreements: The establishment of the fund is anticipated to create momentum for broader and more ambitious agreements on climate action during COP28. The summit’s participants are underlining the critical nature of reaching impactful decisions.
  • ‘Loss and Damage’ Definition: The term ‘loss and damage’ refers to the adverse effects experienced by countries due to climate-related events such as storms and droughts. While funding has been allocated for climate adaptation and emission reduction, this fund specifically addresses the financial needs arising from actual damages.

Conclusion: The unexpected launch of the ‘loss and damage’ fund at COP28 marks a historic moment in climate negotiations. The quick response from nations to contribute financially underscores the recognition of the urgent need to address the impacts of climate change. The fund’s establishment on the first day of the conference is seen as a positive signal for the potential success of broader climate agreements during COP28. The urgency and significance of addressing climate collapse and providing support to vulnerable nations have taken center stage at the summit.

BBC

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